The Boy and the Airplane by Mark Pett
This wordless picture book tells the story of a young boy who is merrily playing with his brand-new red airplane. He runs with it, runs around it pretending to be a plane himself, and eventually throws it up into the air. It lands on the roof where the boy where the boy is unable to reach it using a ladder or anything else that he tries. He sits in discouragement under a tree and then is inspired when a maple seed drifts down and lands in his hand. He plants the seed, watching it grow through the seasons and the years. The ending is satisfying and lovely. This book is about patience and dedication, but is also open to interpretation thanks to its wordless design and flowing storyline.
Pett manages to create a truly timeless book here. The art is done in sepia tones with just a dash of red for the toy airplane. The characters are even dressed in clothes that are universal. The book has a great cyclical quality to it that works particularly well with the timeless feel. The illustrations also have a contemplative feel to them that permeates the entire work. This is a book that slows you down and gets you considering other options.
A great gift book for adults, this book will also be appreciated by young children who will see the humor in the boy’s solution. Appropriate for ages 3-5.
Reviewed from copy received from Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers.